Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gluttony and Temperance

Absorbing it all so that there's none left.

That's gluttony in the short. And that's what the United States of America - a country that comprises 5% of the human population yet consumes a full 20% of its non-renewable resources - is. We are the very definition of gluttony.

'Fast Food' photo (c) 2006, Christian Cable - license: that again with me, please.

My country makes up 1/20th of the people in the whole world.

But we take in 1/5th of its resources.

The non-renewable kind.

Consumed. Complete. Swallowed. Done. Finished. Taken in and not-replaced.

That is, we take in four times per person, on average, what everybody else in the entire world does. This includes food. And clothing. Electronics. Cars. Gas. Oil. Electricity. Water.

These are resources that others can't use.

This leads to malnourishment, starvation, disease.


Because we can't be temperate in our insatiable appetites?

How do we avoid this trap of selfishness? How can  we still live well and assure that others do as well? That's a serious question that we need to wrap our minds around.



  1. Thank you. The same is true of us Europeans (although we mix in hypocrisy by pretending it's just an American problem). Gluttony is a deadly sin in both senses of the word that needs to be addressed by social change, besides personal change: a model of human life that does not consume and destroy the planet and rob the majority of the world's population.

    1. Thanks, AFH.

      From my understanding, Europe has been less driven by consumerism than the US, but that is changing, eh?

      Along with that, of course, is the need to screw the working and poor classes with "austerity."

    2. Bonita Hyman7:48 PM

      I concur with our historian friend. This is not just an American problem by any means.

  2. In some cultures, gluttony is a lifestyle. The Samoans and Hawaiians for instance.

    1. Thanks for the commenting, Believer. But the definition of gluttony used here - and I believe in the ancient world - is the kind that took all of the resources from weaker neighbors. I'm not sure that was the case in the Pacific?


Be kind. Rewind.